“Wherever St. Paul went, there was a riot. Wherever I go, they serve tea.
Tom Wright is perhaps the most quotable Christian writer alive. With over 30 books published, including his completed commentary on the New Testament, everyone's favourite theologian has blessed the Christian world with much wisdom.
Here are our top ten quotes from a range of his books to give you philosophical tap on the shoulder, a challenging nudge, and a spiritual boost.
“[Arguments about God are] like pointing a flashlight toward the sky to see if the sun is shining.” – Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
“Jesus is portrayed by the gospels as a one-man apocalypse, the place where heaven and earth meet, the place where, and the means by which, people come and find themselves renewed and restored as the people of the one God, the place where power is redefined, turned upside down or perhaps the right way up.” – How God Became King: Getting to the Heart of the Gospels
“Religions are not items on the supermarket shelf that we can pick and choose… [Christianity] is a personal relationship of love and loyalty to the one who has loved us more than we can begin to imagine. And the test of that love and loyalty remains the simple, profound, dangerous, and difficult command: love one another.” – New Testament Wisdom for Everyone
“Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion.” – The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is
“Life is full of mystery… You can study biology and human genetics, and know everything there is to know about fertilization, reproduction, pregnancy, birth and childhood; but when you see your own new-born child, and two eyes meet yours with a look that seems to say, not ‘Who are you?’ but ‘So – it’s you!’ you glimpse a mystery which no physical explanation can ever begin to explore.” – New Testament Wisdom for Everyone
“Don’t misunderstand me. The terrorist actions of Al-Qaeda were and are unmitigatedly evil. But the astonishing naivety which decreed that America as a whole was a pure, innocent victim, so that the world could be neatly divided up into evil people (particularly Arabs) and good people (particularly Americans and Israelis), and that the latter had a responsibility now to punish the former, is a large-scale example of what I’m talking about – just as it is immature and naive to suggest the mirror image of this view, namely that the western world is guilty in all respects and that all protestors and terrorists are therefore completely justified in what they do. In the same way, to suggest that all who possess guns should be locked up, or (the American mirror-image of this view) that everyone should carry guns so that good people can shoot bad ones before they can get up to their tricks, is simply a failure to think into the depths of what’s going on.” – Evil & the Justice of God
“To open the Bible is to open a window toward Jerusalem, as Daniel did (6:10), no matter where our exile may have taken us.”– After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters
“When he wanted fully to explain what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn’t give them a theory. He didn’t even give them a set of scriptural texts. He gave them a meal” – Simply Jesus: Who He Was, What He Did, Why It Matters
“What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbour as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether... They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom.” – Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
“[Love] is a language to be learned, a musical instrument to be practiced, a mountain to be climbed via some steep and tricky cliff paths but with the most amazing view from the top.” – After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters
More Eden Articles on Tom Wright & Theology:
If this has tickled your theological taste buds, here are some articles & interviews we have previously published about the Tom Wright and others you may be interested in chewing over:
• Interview: Tom Wright Completes 'For Everyone' Series
• Tom Wright: Is He Really ‘For Everyone’?
• Book Review: New Testament Wisdom for Everyone by Tom Wright
• Interview: Brian McLaren on Hell
• Is Leadership Male? (three-part article by Ben Irwin)
• Theology as Tears in Action – theology in touch with emotion & practice (by Richard Pickles is a Tutor in Theology and Counselling at the London School of Theology)
• Beautiful; Broken; Forgiven; Invited – four words that describe what it means to be a Christian (by Gerard Kelly)
• Should We Adam and Eve It? – Discussion Genesis 1
April 19th, 2013 - Posted & Written by James Warwood